Your dentist in Colorado Springs always tells patients to brush their teeth twice a day with a fluoridated toothpaste and floss daily. However, are you aware that you also need to brush your tongue just as much as your teeth and gums? Turns out your tongue is quite the sponge for oral bacteria, so you should always take a moment to make sure your tongue is clean before rinsing out your mouth.
Here are 5 reasons why your dentist says tongue-brushing is essential to proper oral care.
It Removes Bad Breath
When bacteria gather on the surface of the tongue, it will eventually create a foul odor. This, in combination with dry mouth, causes a condition known as halitosis, or chronic bad breath. By dedicating a few seconds to thoroughly removing bacteria from your tongue, you make a huge difference in reducing bad breath.
To confirm if you have bad breath, simply lick the back of a spoon or your wrist and let it dry for a few seconds. If the spoon or your wrists smells, then you have bad breath.
It Reduces the Risk of Developing Periodontal Disease
Bacteria on the tongue can just as easily travel to other areas of the mouth if not removed. In this case, it can travel to your teeth and gums, increasing the chances of periodontal disease developing. Periodontal disease is an advanced form of gingivitis and can cause chronic inflammation of the gums, receding gums, and even cause teeth to fall out.
You’ll Protect Your Taste Buds
If you’ve bitten into food and felt like you didn’t taste anything, there’s a chance your taste buds have become minorly dulled thanks to oral bacteria on the tongue. Food particles, dead skin, and bacteria can easily get in the way of enjoying the foods you love if you don’t clean your tongue often enough.
It Will Prevent Black Tongue
While this condition only appears when the tongue goes uncleaned for a long period of time, it can still occur when you’ve been exposing it to many foods and drinks throughout your day. Your tongue will appear fuzzy, making it look dark or hairy. Thankfully, this condition is harmless and can be removed easily with a quick brush.
You’ll Avoid Yeast Infections
Yeast infections in the mouth are also known as “oral thrush” and is often found in babies or patients with an immune deficiency. They usually appear in the form of white lesions on the tongue or inner cheeks. If too much bacteria grow in your mouth, you may start to see it in this form. In this case, simple brushing may not be enough and an antifungal medication may be needed to remove this condition.
Brushing your tongue is easy to incorporate in your oral care routine. If you need treatment for oral thrush or want to learn more oral care tips, schedule an appointment with your Colorado Springs dentist today!
About the Author
Dr. Ken Gasper earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the Louisiana State University School of Dentistry. He continues to participate in many hours of continuing education and is a member of many dental organizations. To learn more about your dentist in Colorado Springs or about his practice, contact him at (719) 599-0700 or visit his website.